Improve your Attic’s Energy Efficiency

Attic insulation and gable vent

You know how your car heats up like an oven in the summer? Well, your attic does the same thing. A hot attic isn’t just bad for your cooling bill, it can also shorten the life of your shingles, degrade anything you have stored up there and stresses your cooling system.

Just to see how hot your attic gets in the summer place a thermometer in your attic and compare its top temperature with the hottest outdoor measurement. If it’s more than 20 degrees hotter you’re paying more to cool your house and overworking your AC system and it also means you’re heating the attic unnecessarily in the winter. Another side effect is potentially shortening the lifespan of your roof.

Insulating is certainly one part. It helps in the summer and winter. The Department of Energy estimates that a properly insulated attic can shave 10 to 50 percent off your heating bill.

You probably have passive roof vents, which as it says only passively moves the hot air out as it heats up past the outdoor temperature. Adding an attic fan will work to actively pull out hot air and moisture. Choosing a solar attic fan can qualify for a 30% Federal Tax Credit right now on the product and installation. An attic fan helps draw the heat out in the summer making it easier to cool.

Attic diagram with and without attic fan

In the winter when the heat rises into the attic it comes into contact with the cold underside of the roof and condensation forms creating dampness and mold issues even in Colorado’s dry climate. Ice dam problems are another issue that occurs when excess heat builds up in the attic during the winter. The greatest potential for ice dam problems arise without proper insulation, caulking and added attic ventilation. The added ventilation of attic fans can draw the damp air out in the winter protecting the wood inside.
Ice dam roof diagram and image

It’s important to address these issues even if you don’t use your attic as a living area or for extra storage. Taking these steps to control the climate of your attic will positively affect the rest of your house in savings and performance.